About us

StockenBridge Breaks was created in 2007 by brother and sister, Zeb and Claudia Stocken, combining the expert bridge teaching skills of Zeb with the superb organisational skills of Claudia.

We aim to provide wonderful holidays that are as much about the bridge as the location, food and company. We put a great deal of effort into finding the perfect venue, visiting each one personally. This may be a country house, exclusively hired by StockenBridge to create a very informal house party feel, or a small charming hotel, always in a lovely area and with a warm and welcoming 'feel' about it.

We like to have small groups, generally from 8 to 24 people, and, depending on the numbers, you will have between one and three Stocken family members as your hosts! It is important to stress that our holidays are not aimed at the type of player who likes a serious 24-board duplicate every night. Our ethos is that bridge must be a friendly and social game where you can meet like-minded people, and our holidays reflect that. No partner is needed on a StockenBridge holiday.

We are extremely proud that we have so many guests who come back time after time. Once you start coming, we are sure that you will make great friendships, and will be eager to try out the next StockenBridge holiday.

The quality of food is also of the utmost importance as we know that it can make or break a holiday. If we are abroad we like to have a local chef so that you can really have a taste of the country you are staying in.

Depending on the destination, we also offer additional optional activities including:

  • Excursions to places of interest
  • Wine-tasting
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Cookery classes
  • Trips to the theatre or opera
  • Guided walks
  • Pottery demonstrations
  • Visits to beautiful gardens in the area
  • Dining out in local restaurants

...the choice is endless!

The Stocken Family

Claudia and Zeb come from a family of bridge players who all play and teach bridge regularly. Along with their two brothers Jack and Simon, they were all taught bridge from an early age by their parents, Dinah and Peter, who themselves met at university playing bridge. They were soon all playing competitive bridge at club, county and national level.

Twenty years on or so, Peter has served out two successful tenures as Chairman of the English Bridge Union helping to bring about sweeping changes to the way bridge is run in this country. Meanwhile, Zeb, Jack and Simon now make their full-time living as bridge professionals and Peter, Dinah and Claudia all play and teach bridge in some form or other. The Stocken family have a nationwide reputation for expert tuition - coupled with good humour.

Long before bridge, the Stocken family have been well known for their unique wooden jigsaw puzzles; four generations have now mastered the art, cutting jigsaws and three-dimensional puzzles for nearly 100 years. Click here to find out more about the puzzles >

Claudia Stocken

Claudia Stocken

Claudia learnt bridge when she was 8 and played competitive bridge up until the age of 16 when she needed to concentrate on her studies to be a veterinary surgeon. After qualifying from Liverpool University, she worked for a number of years as a vet in England before coming out to Serre Chevalier in the French Alps in 1999. Here she met her husband, Philippe, and they now live in France with their two young children.

She has also spent many years working as a resort manager for the holiday Tour Operator, Inghams, both in winter and summer, which has given her invaluable experience for the running of StockenBridge holidays.

Claudia plays bridge regularly at the local duplicate bridge club in Briancon as well as tournaments when she can.

Zeb Stocken

Zeb Stocken

Zeb is the youngest member of the family and started playing bridge at 6 years old. Having played competitive bridge all through his teens, Zeb partnered Simon in the British junior squad, gaining successes in many national tournaments and reaching the rank of National Master. After completing a Classics degree at Bristol University, Zeb joined the Andrew Robson Bridge Club in 1996.

During his five years as Director and teacher at the ARBC, Zeb also collaborated on Andrew's teaching series, helping to bring the notes to life. Zeb teaches private groups all over London and around the country, as well as running his own weekly mini-clubs in Dulwich and Blackheath.

Zeb is now married to Fabia, whom he met through bridge, and they have had a boy, Rex, born in 2012.

To find out more about Bridge with Zeb, please click here